Sunday, 10 March 2013

Painting Picture Vehicles for the Film Industry

When I started in the film industry, I mostly painted signs. But because of my background as a painter the Auto body industry, it also gave me some new opportunities. Well, one thing leads to another, and before I knew it, I was painting tanks and helicopters. It started when a pilot and his crew ran into trouble trying to paint their own helicopter. The production designer (Ken Adams of the early James Bond films) suggested I give them a hand. This started me down the road to painting picture vehicles and aircraft for films and commercials. I must admit they I always felt a little nervous when it came to aircraft painting. You have to be very aware of how serious it could be if something goes wrong.

Painting vehicles and aircraft can definitely be a challenge. It can range from a temporary paint job that has to be removed, to a paint jobs that are permanent, or it doesn't really matter as the vehicle will be destroyed in the end ( my favorite one). Sometimes in involves lettering and graphic, other times, create the military look, or just make it look weathered and old. I've always found the film industry a place where you can put all your skills to use. Just be careful what you tell them you can do, you will be tested. Here's a few pictures of jobs I've been involved with. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Here's a few working photos of the hummers and snowmobiles that were painted for the movie "Inception" They were in Alberta filming part of the movie, and asked if I could get a crew together to do the paint. All the camouflage was done by hand,  using a water based paint and brushes. We didn't have to worry about the paint jobs lasting, as they were going to be destroyed  in the end. You have to love the film business.

 We only had a few days to get everything painted, so painting by brush saved a lot time by not having to mask anything. The production designer was great to work with. He went ahead of us and did the layouts That way we could just focus on the painting. It doesn't happen that often, but it sure is nice when it does.

This is one of the trucks from the movie "Brokeback Mountain"  We started with a perfectly good paint job. Then we created the faded and weathered look over the existing paint. We worked on top of a wax coat so we could remove the paint when filming was done. Unfortunately, the person cleaning it decided to use scrub pads and trashed the paint job. In the end, it all worked out as the owner was really hoping to get a new paint job .

This is a old school flame job I did for a movie called "Santa Baby" It was for the Santa character who was going through his mid life crisis. When I was working on the movie Inception, I found out  the person in charge of the snowmobiles had ended up with it. It was funny to see it again. Glad I used One Shot and clear..

Here's a few pictures of military vehicles done the the movie" The Forth War" I started out painting just the signs. But through a turn of events ended up painting military vehicles and a helicopter. Made for some long days, but also a nice pay cheque.

This was for a Miller Beer commercial. First it was sprayed with the product Sign Strip so it could be removed after filming. Then we hand painted the stripes and lettering. You couldn't use any tape, as that would run the risk of lifting the paint. That could be a very dangerous situation in flight. I moved away from using Sign Strip for that very reason.

This is a helicopter I painted for the TV show "Harsh Realm" It was a temporary paint job using floor wax and tempera paint. This was a very cool helicopter work on, similar to a high performance sports car.

Another temporary paint job for the movie "Chill Factor" I ended up painting 2 Hueys and a Gazelle for the show. A few years later I heard the fellow who owned the Hueys had been killed in a crash. It was sad to hear as he was such a nice person. It also reminded me of how important it is to make sure nothing I do interferes in the operation of the helicopter.


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